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President Xi Jinping meets PLA border troops in Xinjiang ahead of Sino-India border officers’ meet amid standoff

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(TibetanReview.net, Jul17’22) – Ahead of the 16th round of Sino-Indian border Corps Commander-level talks on Jul 17 on the Indian side at Chusul Moldo meeting point in Ladakh, Chinese President Xi Jinping has met the troops and officers stationed in Xinjiang and praised their outstanding contributions to the border defence and stabilization of the volatile province.

Xi, who heads the Central Military Commission (CMC), the overall high command of the Chinese military, met the representatives of the officers and soldiers stationed in Xinjiang in the provincial capital Urumqi on Jul 15, reported the PTI news agency Jul 16.

The report said Xi’s meeting with the troops was significant as the Xinjiang Military Command of the People’s Liberation Amy (PLA) oversees the India-China border in the Ladakh region amidst a military standoff between the two sides since May 2020.

Citing China’s official Xinhua news agency, the report said Xi extended greetings to all the commanders and fighters of the troops stationed in the province and fully affirmed the “outstanding contributions” made by the troops stationed in the region.

Besides the top brass of the Western Theatre Command of the PLA, which oversees the 3,488-km-long LAC between India and Chinese occupied Tibet, Qi Fabao, the regimental commander of the PLA who was injured during the Jun 2020 night clash at Galwan in eastern Ladakh, was also reported, with photos, to be present at the meeting. China honoured him with “hero regiment commander for defending the border.”

India has been pressing for quick disengagement of troops from all the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh, insisting that peace and tranquillity along the border are prerequisites for progress in overall bilateral ties.

However, it has complained about China’s lack of genuine commitment to reach a settlement due to its reluctance to withdraw from the territorial transgressions it had made which led to the current, ongoing border crisis.

China insists the border settlement can wait while the two sides should restore normal relations in other area of mutual concern.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong Lake and in the Gogra area. 

So, at today’s talks, India is expected to press for disengagement of troops as soon as possible in all the remaining friction points besides seeking resolution of issues in Depsang Bulge and Demchok.

Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive mountainous sector, said the PTI report.

Xi visited the border province from Jul 12 to 15. The Chinese government is widely accused of carrying out genocidal policies in the predominantly Uyghur Muslim ethnic minorities. During his visit, Xi has asked officials to step up efforts to uphold the principle that Islam in China must be Chinese in orientation and that religions in the country should adapt to the socialist society being pursued by the ruling Communist Party of China.

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